KOFU, YAMANASHI PREF. – Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Force on Tuesday showed to the media its first joint military exercise with the British Army in central Japan following an agreement by the two countries last year to strengthen bilateral security ties.
The drill began at a GSDF training school in Shizuoka Prefecture on Sunday. The troops were scheduled to hold more exercises through Oct. 12 at training areas in neighboring Yamanashi Prefecture and Miyagi Prefecture in the Tohoku region.
The British Army’s Lt. Gen. Patrick Sanders said the exercise symbolizes the deepening relations between Britain and Japan, and the British force hopes to remain committed to such drills in the future.
During Tuesday’s exercise, the two forces practiced how they might survey the locations of a potential enemy using the GSDF’s CH-47 transport helicopter. Under a scenario where they would move closer to the front line, some 20 members boarded the chopper.
Inside the GSDF school building, they also used simulators for bombarding tanks based on information about the enemy.
Last month, the GSDF announced it would hold the joint exercise without live fire and that it would involve some 60 Japanese troops and about 50 British members.